SOURCE: IMG

March 10, 2008 10:25 ET

IMG and Ari Fleischer Announce New Joint Venture to Create 'Ari Fleischer Sports Communications'

New Consultancy Company Led by Former White House Press Secretary; Offering Strategy, Media Training, Image and Crisis Management, and Other Advisory Services; Will Draw on Global Resources and Relationships of IMG

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - IMG, the world's premier sports, entertainment and media company, and Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary and leading sports industry communicator, today announced the formation of a new joint venture: Ari Fleischer Sports Communications.

The New York-based consultancy company will offer management advisory services, including media training and interview preparation, image management, crisis management and media relations to a wide range of athletes, coaches and high-profile sports industry executives. Fleischer will serve as the company's President. Sandy Montag, Senior Corporate Vice President of IMG Sports & Entertainment, will serve as COO of the company.

In making the announcement, Fleischer said, "Except for presidents and top government officials, no one faces tougher scrutiny today than sports figures. Athletes now face a public -- and a media -- that demand more. Players and executives who understand the media and know how to work with them find their careers are launched to higher, more successful and lucrative levels because of the good publicity they receive."

George Pyne, President, IMG Sports & Entertainment, added, "Ari is a talented professional with deep expertise across sports, government and media. We are delighted to partner with Ari and bring the worldwide resources of IMG to this venture in order to help athletes and sports industry clients manage tough situations and successfully interact with the media."

Ari Fleischer served as the primary spokesperson for President George W. Bush during the historic presidential recount in 2000, September 11th, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the anthrax attack. His bestselling book, "Taking Heat," details his years in the White House and reached No. 7 on the New York Times best-seller list.

Since leaving the White House, Fleischer has worked with some of the most established people and organizations in sports, including Major League Baseball, the Women's Tennis Association and The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. Fleischer also advises several major corporations on communications issues.

Fleischer continued, "Together with IMG, our new company will help people in the sports world so they can handle bad news and also take advantage of good."

About Ari Fleischer Sports Communications

Ari Fleischer Sports Communications is a new sports media consulting firm brought to you by the former White House press secretary. Fleischer's expertise in sports and communications brings a new level of sophistication required for today's high-profile world of sports.

As White House press secretary, Fleischer developed a unique and proactive approach to crisis management and media training that he now brings to the sports industry. From forecasting potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses, to shaping the message and image portrayed in the marketplace, Ari Fleischer Sports Communications provides tools for sports leagues, coaches, athletes, and team management to successfully handle the press.

More information about Ari Fleischer Sports Communications is available at www.fleischersports.com.

About IMG

IMG is the world's premier sports, entertainment and media enterprise.

Operating in 30 countries, IMG's diverse businesses include: consulting services; event ownership and management; fashion events and models representation; licensing; golf course design; and client representation in golf, tennis, broadcasting, speakers, European football, rugby, cricket, motor sports, coaching, Olympic sports and action sports. IMG Academies are the world's largest and most advanced multi-sport training and educational facilities, delivering world-class sports training experiences to more than 12,000 junior, collegiate, adult, and professional athletes each year.

IMG's media and entertainment operations include content production subsidiaries Darlow Smithson Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions. Globally, IMG produces and distributes more than 11,000 hours of sports, documentary, drama, comedy, entertainment, popular factual and children's content annually. IMG also represents the broadcast rights to many of the world's premier sporting events and has the world's largest sports archive with more than 250,000 hours of footage.

Forstmann Little & Co. purchased IMG in 2004.

More information about IMG is available at www.imgworld.com.

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